Tuesday, October 13, 2020

End of Season Tool Care and Purchasing

Now is the time to shop for gardening tools.  They are on sale at season end and you can get them cheaper than in the Spring.  Here is a list of essential tools that you should own to get your gardening done with ease. It’s also a good beginner list of garden tools that will give you a great foundation to help create your beautiful garden.

Garden Spade or Shovel: You will certainly need a spade to dig up your beds or to plant a tree or bush. A round point spade is made to easily cut through the soil for planting. A shovel is necessary to dig and prepare large holes or entire beds for planting.

Garden Claw
: This tool is a fairly new addition to the garden tool family. It’s basically a long-handled cultivator. The garden claw is terrific for turning the soil and preparing beds with new soil. Soil needs to be aerated and the claw does a good job of this. This cultivator is great for mixing in fertilizers, compost, or new top soil into your existing bed.

Hand Trowel: A hand trowel is a mini spade that is used to plant small new plants and flowers. It’s ideal for working in tight spots in your garden and great for digging out those weeds!

Bypass Pruners: Pruners are needed to keep your plants trim. Pruning plants actually encourages proper growth and keeps the plant from getting unruly and unsightly. Bypass pruners are used for new, soft growth on bushes and flowers. To trim large branches; long-handled loppers should be used. Shears, which resemble an extra-large pair of scissors, are good for trimming bushes, hedges and smaller branches.

Corona Bypass Pruners

Hose and Watering Can: With no water there is no garden! To water large areas you will need a hose and it is worth spending the money on a good quality rubber hose. Don’t forget a watering can for light watering of your new plantings or your display pots.

Rake: We need clean up tools after we finish our gardening! A rake is wonderful for getting all that debris off your lawn. Lawn and leaf rakes are perfect for this chore.

Broom: Yes, a broom does belong on this list. I don’t mean the brooms you use inside your house but a straw type broom to whisk up all the debris on your walkways and patio areas. I find my broom to be very useful when cleaning up, especially after I have been harvesting and laying bundles of herbs on my patio table.



If you already have your tools, remember to care for them properly when you put them away for winter. Before wintery weather arrives, don’t forget to protect and put away your valuable tools, too. 

Hand Tools: If you have rinsed off and dried your rakes, shovels, trowels, garden forks or other hand tools after each use, you won’t have to do much at the end of the season. But if they are dirty, don a pair of goggles before using a stiff-bristled brush to scrub off any mud or rust. Fine sandpaper or steel wool will take care of small, rusty spots. 

Sharpen any dull tools you use for digging or cutting and file down nicks. Wear heavy gloves to protect your hands while doing this. Don’t have the proper files or sharpening stones? Your local hardware store or garden center may be able to handle these chores for you. 

Next, gently run your hands down the wooden handles to check for cracks or splinters. A medium-grit emery cloth or a piece of sandpaper will smooth rough, weathered wood. Replace broken wood handles; tapes and glues don’t usually last. To remove a tool head from the handle, protect your eyes with safety goggles and strike the head with a ball-peen hammer. Never hit metal with a nail hammer, which can cause dangerous metal fragments to fly off. 

Coat the metal parts of your tools with light oil or spray them with a lubricant like WD-40 before putting them away. To protect the wooden handles, apply linseed oil. Hang your tools in a shed or garage, out of the weather, until you’re ready to use them again. If you prefer, keep small hand tools stashed in a bucket of sand mixed with oil; it will help guard against rust. 

Garden Sprayers: Wash your sprayers inside and out with soapy water, using a sponge or scrub brush. Spray some of the soapy mixture through the lines to clear them. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water, spraying again to flush the lines. Allow the sprayers to dry thoroughly before storing them out of the weather. While you're at it, store the chemicals you use in the sprayers away from freezing temperatures. 

Garden Hoses: Remove nozzles and drain the hoses. When they're dry, mend any leaks with electrical tape or garden hose repair tape. Replace the ends of hoses and washers, if needed. Coil the hoses to keep them from kinking and hang them out of the elements.

Thanks to HGTV for these end of season cleaning tips

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